The World Bank in January announced that Ghana has through the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) earned $4,862,280 for its contribution to reducing 972,456 tonnes of carbon emissions for the first monitoring period under the program – June to December 2019.
“This payment is the first of four under the country’s Emission Reduction Payment Agreement (ERPA) with the World Bank to demonstrate potential for leveraging results-based payments for carbon credits,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Subject to showing results from actions taken to reduce deforestation, Ghana is eligible to receive up to $50 million for 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions reduced by 2024.
Ghana’s deputy minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, confirmed receipt of the carbon credits reward from the World Bank at the presentation of emission reduction payments to beneficiaries at the Forestry Commission Training Centre in Kumasi.
“But more importantly, we are happy to inform you that the farmers will be receiving their benefit directly into their accounts without any third-party interference,” said Bio.
He indicated the Government’s commitment to the realisation of the REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries) programme.
Bio commended the stakeholders for the success story of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) in salvaging the environment from the ravages of deforestation and forest degradation and ensuring that the programme target is achieved.
“The success story of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) is an excellent source of gratification and also an indication that our quest to salvage our environment from the ravages of deforestation and forest degradation is not a lost cause,” he added.
He recalled, “Carbon payments were thought to be an imagination following the launch by the President the questions on many minds were how it will be possible.”
“But today it has been remarkably done for the benefit of all those involved by adding climate-smart practices adopted by local farmers contributed to the REDD+ programme’s success,” he added.
A representative from the World Bank Group, Dashani Dasilvera, speaking on behalf of the Country Director, urged the beneficiaries to continue to apply sustainable practices to improve livelihoods through the redd+ initiative.
The beneficiary farmers have commended the World Bank and the government for the REDD+ programme, indicating that it has directly improved their living standards since its implementation.
A spokesperson of the Asunafo Asutifi Hotspot Intervention Area, Daniel Amponsah Gyinayeh, said the beneficiary farmers have worked diligently with the government and partners in making the REDD+ programme a reality and pledged to remain committed to the success of this project.
Ghana is the second African country after Mozambique to receive REDD+ result-based payment from the carbon fund of the World Bank trust fund for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, commonly known as REDD+
In line with the REDD+ Programme, the GCFRP aims to significantly reduce emissions driven by deforestation and forest degradation.
It also improves smallholder farmers’ livelihoods through substantial yield increases and other benefit-sharing arrangements.
Furthermore, it aims to prevent deforestation and forest degradation caused by cocoa-driven activities, illegal mining, and illegal logging.
The programme anticipates that in 6 years about 10 million tonnes of emission reduction will be realised to produce both carbon and non-carbon benefits.
The no-carbon benefits, according to the REDD+, are directly related to cocoa production, other food production, and alternative livelihood, whereas the carbon payments represent negotiated carbon payments for three-party verification and emission reduction.
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